Zamfara West Senator-elect and SenatePresident aspirant, Abdul’aziz Abubakar Yari, has said that the zoning formula of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC) on the 10th Senate leadership positions was in conflict with the 1999 Constitution (as amended) because it is in breach of the federal character principle as enshrined in the constitution.
Yari said the religion balancing rationalebehind the APC zoning arrangement was unknown to the 1999 Constitution (as amended) as the nation’s law book only provides for federal character in sharing of offices for balancing and not religion as a factor.
Recall that the ruling party had last week anointed Senator Godswill Akpabio (South-South) and Senator Barau Jibril (North-West) as Senate President and Deputy for the incoming 10th Senate, respectively.
But, the former Zamfara state governor and one-time member of the House of Representatives, who spoke on Tuesday while featuring as a guest on Arise News Channel’s breakfast programme, ‘The Morning Show’, noted that the APC zoning formula for election of presiding officers for the 10th Senate was unconstitutional and unfair to Northern Nigeria as all the heads of the three arms of government will be Southerners.
“I am particularly talking about the APC, if they decide to zone (Senate leadership positions), we ask them a question, on what do you based the zoning? Have you taken the federal character into cognizance, where the President, the Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Assembly chairman, the three arms of government, are in one place?
“The present Chief Justice of Nigeria is from Oyo State; Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the President-elect is from Lagos State, and Akpabio is from Akwa Ibom State at the same time. While the next Chief Justice of the Federation (Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun) is also going to be from the South-West.
“So, have you ever seen, let’s say since 1960, whether this kind of thing has happened during the Shagari era, coming to Obasanjo, Yar’Adua and Jonathan? It only happened during Buhari’s time slightly before CJN Onnoghen took over the Judiciary for some time.
“Now it happens that (with APC zoning arrangement), all the three arms of government are in the Southern part of the country. How could that be fair to Northern Nigeria?” Yari queried.